They became one of the best-known cavalry units in American history, though few people remember their official title, the First U.S. Volunteer Cavalry. But mention the name "Rough Riders," and visions come to mind of the charge up San Juan Hill, led by Leonard Wood and Teddy Roosevelt. The Rough Riders served with distinction during the Spanish-American War. The monument at Arlington National Cemetery was erected to their memory by the members and friends of the regiment in 1906. The official dedication took place on April 12, 1907.
It is a large, dark-grey granite stone that displays the insignia of the First U.S. Volunteer Cavalry on its west face. It also lists the battles in which the Rough Riders took part — Las Guasimas, San Juan, and Santiago. The names of all the officers and enlisted men of the First Cavalry who lost their lives during the Spanish-American War are engraved on the imposing granite stone.
The inscription on the monument reads:
IN MEMORY OF
THE DECEASED MEMBERS
OF THE 1ST U.S.
ERECTED BY THE MEMBERS AND
FRIENDS OF THE REGIMENT